Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ethan Kirschbaum, Founder of Chicago Movement Collective, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I own a nonprofit dance studio committed to changing how dancers are trained in the 21st Century and beyond. Our customers come in all shapes and sizes, of various cultural and racial backgrounds, and diverse expressions of gender, but they all share one thing in common: they love to dance!

Tell us about yourself

I’m a retired professional dancer who got to perform on stages across the world, and I have since transitioned into mostly teaching. In March of 2020, one of the largest dance studios in Chicago shuttered its doors, and I wanted to create a space for both the displaced educators and members of the dance community to come together. It is that same appreciation of community curating that keeps me showing up for work every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I believe simply staying open and providing opportunities for immersion in dance culture is a huge accomplishment for me. However, if I had to pick something more specific, it would have to be the success of my scholarship program. One of my dancers (who started training with us from their living room virtually) was hired into a professional contemporary ballet company within less than a year of training with me.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?


What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Surround yourself with other people who are passionate about your business, but share slightly different skill sets.
  2. Allow yourself the same grace you would offer a friend or family member.
  3. If possible, start with a financial nest egg of sorts. If you’ve never done this before, there will be a lot of unexpected costs, and having that financial security will give you the freedom to keep pushing your brand and growing your business.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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